FIFA to investigate government interference in Egyptian football
Clubs have complained about government interference in their internal elections
Eslam Omar, Thursday 8 May 2014
A delegation from world football governing body FIFA will arrive in Egypt on Monday for a two-day mission to examine allegations of government interference in football.
In March, FIFA ordered the EFA to provide responses to complains from several leading Egyptian clubs, including Cairo giants Ahly and Zamalek, who had wanted looming club elections to be postponed until a new sports law is issued, in order to adhere to the statutes of FIFA and the International Olympic Committee.
The sports ministry insisted on holding sporting club elections as scheduled, leading the clubs to complain of government interference.
The Egyptian Football Association (EFA) published a letter sent by FIFA dated 6 May informing the local association of the arrival of the mission.
According to the letter the delegation will include Costakis Koutoskoumnis, member of the FIFA association committee and President of Cyprus Football Association, Magdi Shams Eldin, member of the Confederation of African Football's Executive Committee, and Primo Corvaro, head of the FIFA Members' Association Department. Corvaro will be leading the delegation.
"The FIFA Associations Committee showed deep concern about the fact that the Egyptian Football Association did not implement the statutes and did not react to the interference from the authorities and to different correspondences sent by FIFA in this regard," read a letter sent by the world governing body to the EFA on 19 March.
The clubs' elections were held late March after an exceptional extension to previous boards. Controversial lawyer Mortada Mansour won the post of Zamalek chairman, while Mahmoud Taher took charge of Ahly.
Egyptian football has struggled in recent years in the wake of post-match violence at Port Said in February 2012 that left 72 fans dead. The country's ongoing political instability has also taken a toll; two domestic league seasons were cancelled while the third is currently being held behind closed doors, with 22 clubs participating in a revised two-group format.
Some clubs are demanding relegation cancelation this season also.
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